Invisalign vs Braces

Our teeth do more for us than we realize; from chewing the food that we eat to helping us form the words we speak to communicate. When a tooth is out of place, it changes the entire dynamic of your mouth. It can push other teeth out of place, make it difficult to chew, cause pain or discomfort, and more. Invisalign can help keep your teeth in line, providing you with a straight smile you can be proud of.

There are two main methods to straighten teeth: braces and Invisalign. While traditional braces move your teeth with metal or ceramic brackets adhered to each tooth and connected by a wire, Invisalign is a single piece of virtually invisible plastic that covers your teeth and adjusts your smile gradually.

If you’re interested in improving your smile, whether for aesthetics or the health of your teeth, Dr. Sarah Wilmer, DDS can help. Here’s what you should know about the difference between Invisalign and Braces.

What is Invisalign?

As we mentioned, Invisalign uses a clear plastic aligner to gently coax teeth into place. The aligner is customized to your mouth after taking an impression or using a 3D digital scan (as we do here in our office – no goop, no mess!).

The Invisalign is done rapidly because we use Propel to “supercharge” your teeth. Making the teeth move faster, efficiently, and predictably. The treatment takes a minimum of 2.5 months to create lasting changes to your smile, but you’ll be able to notice a difference after a few weeks of wear. When you finish your Invisalign treatment, Dr. Wilmer will give you Vivera retainers to maintain all the work you’ve accomplished on your mouth. We also smooth the edges of worn teeth to give our patients a highly esthetic outcome. 

Benefits of Invisalign

Using Invisalign has more benefits than just straight and beautiful teeth! When compared to natural braces, for example, Invisalign ranks better for:


One of the reasons many brace-wearers are unsure about receiving treatment is because of the way braces look. Beauty should be found within, but the way we look on the outside still affects the way we feel about ourselves. Having metal fixtures on our teeth can make people feel self-conscious. This is where Invisalign really reigns supreme. The Invisalign treatment goes over teeth with no additional rubber bands, metal or ceramic to see.


As most people know, traditional metal braces adhere to your teeth. This means they must remain where they are placed until removed by a dental professional. Invisalign, on the other hand, is completely removable. This makes it easier to eat and drink, allowing you to enjoy all your favorite foods without the restrictions that braces possess.

Wearers of metal braces have a long list of foods to avoid, including marshmallows, chewing gum, popcorn, nuts, hard candy, and toffee. With Invisalign, all you need to do to enjoy your favorite snacks is pop out your aligners and enjoy. Of course, we recommend brushing after every snack. 


Comfort plays a huge role in the reason many braces wearers choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces. Traditional braces work by gradually tightening the metal attachments at each visit. This fixes overbites, underbites, and spacing issues. After an adjustment, teeth and gums feel tender, sometimes leaving the patient unable to enjoy eating food.

Invisalign is a far less invasive treatment than metal braces. Rather than tightening metal pieces inside your mouth, Invisalign uses a series of aligners to further your treatment. Each aligner moves your teeth a little more than the last until your smile is perfect.


No matter how hard you try, or which specialty tools you use, brushing and flossing traditional braces is a pain. There are always spots missed and sometimes bristles from the toothbrush snag on the braces, leaving uncomfortable fibers stuck between your teeth.

For hygiene purposes, there’s no teeth straightening method more beneficial than Invisalign. Remove, brush, floss, replace, forget about it. It’s as simple as that!

Which is Best for Me?

Braces and Invisalign offer a myriad of pros and cons. In the end, it normally comes down to personal preference. While Invisalign is substantially more comfortable, faster, and more predictable, it’s important to note that metal braces have their good points as well. For example, metal braces are sometimes more efficient at correcting extreme cases.

So, which style of braces should you choose?

Get Invisalign with a Trust Dentist in Richmond, VA

Deciding to use Invisalign over braces is a big choice to make. If you’re curious about Invisalign and what it could do for your teeth, speaking to a dentist or orthodontist can help.

If you want to get your teeth healthy and gorgeous in the safest, smartest way, book an appointment today or contact us with any questions. 

Invisalign Richmond VA Award

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